WWII German archives to be handed to Poland

As many as 25 mln pages of digitised documentation of the German Nazi party will soon be in Poland, thanks to a deal between the Polish Pilecki Institute and the German Federal Archives (Bundesarchiv).

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The Pilecki Institute is a state culture institution, established in 2016 by the Culture and National Heritage Ministry. Its main purposes are researching Nazi-German and Soviet crimes in Poland and popularising the works of Polish and foreign scientists, dealing with the issues of totalitarianism and 20th-century history.

The signing of the agreement was preceded by negotiations of the Polish Culture and National Heritage Ministry and the German Culture and Media Ministry. The talks were also supported by the Polish Foreign Ministry, the PM Mateusz Morawiecki and deputy PM Piotr Gliński.

The initiator of the agreement is Magdalena Gawin, the Polish deputy Culture and National Heritage Minister.

“The forthcoming anniversary of the start of WWII cannot be treated only in categories of commemoration and ceremonies. It is an opportunity and an obligation to try to understand this war. The historic memory erodes without access to archives, it is also vulnerable to manipulations, especially when last generations remembering WWII are passing away,” Ms Gawin said.

More details about the cooperation of Pilecki Institute and Bundesarchiv will be revealed on March 7, during the press conference.